COLUMBUS — The Ohio Attorney General’s Office rejected on Thursday, April 19 the petition for a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution which would legalize marijuana in Ohio.
On April 9, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office received a written petition to amend the Ohio Constitution, entitled the “Marijuana Rights and Regulations Amendment” from the attorney representing the petitioning committee. The summary was rejected for several reasons, including:
• The summary language giving the General Assembly authority to regulate “marijuana commerce” does not accurately reflect the actual amendment language.
• The summary omits references in the amendment that “Marijuana businesses shall be lawful only in those voting precincts in which the majority of the voters approved this section.”
• The summary omits references in the amendment that “The General Assembly shall within 240 days after the effective date enact and enable laws, rules, and regulations consistent with this section.”
“For these reasons, I am unable to certify the summary as a fair and truthful statement of the proposed amendment,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine stated in his letter rejecting the petition. “However, I must caution that this letter is not intended to represent an exhaustive list of all defects in the submitted summary.”
In order for a constitutional amendment to proceed, an initial petition containing summary language of the amendment and 1,000 signatures from Ohio registered voters must be submitted to the Ohio Attorney General. Once the summary language and initial signatures are certified, the Ohio Ballot Board would determine if the amendment contains a single issue or multiple issues. The petitioners must then collect signatures for each issue from registered voters in each of 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties, equal to 5 percent of the total vote cast in the county for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election. Total signatures collected statewide must also equal 10 percent of the total vote cast for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election.
The full text of the letter and of the initiative petitions submitted can be found at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/Petitions.
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